We talked with Liz Hartman, communications lead for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), about her career before and within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). She’s been part of WETO’s communications team for 14 years now and has been a leader in activities like the Web Coordinators Group and the migration of the EERE website to a new platform in 20122013.

liz hartman, Wind Energy Technologies Office

Check out Hartman’s DOE profile to view her articles.

Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, and where did you work before EERE?

Immediately before joining EERE, I was at Cornell University for graduate school, but before that I worked in nonprofit issue-based advocacy and grassroots campaign organizing in Washington, D.C., and in Albany, New York.

What do you do in EERE and how long have you been here?

I sometimes can’t believe that I’ve been here for almost  14 years! I joined as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2009, when EERE was ramping up to implement the Recovery Act, among other things. When I joined (and until just a couple of years ago), the Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office were combined, so I led communications for both.

I did my Presidential Management Fellow rotation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Division, and also went on detail to DOE’s Policy Office to work on the Quadrennial Energy Review.

Please tell us a little about the work that you do.

The way I see my role is that I lead a high-performing team that provides quality, impactful, and objective communications products and information services to the right people at the right time—informing them of the work that DOE does and demonstrating how it contributes to economic and environmental goals.

For some more concrete examples, I write, edit, and manage communications about DOE’s wind energy R&D for the general public, Congress, the media, and other stakeholders.

What would you like people to know about WETO? And what do you think people misunderstand or don't know about what the program does?

Some people think that because a lot of wind energy has been deployed, that it’s a mature technology, but there is still so much work to do!

Some of the biggest opportunities are in offshore wind; there are only two offshore wind farms operating in U.S. waters. But even in land-based wind, there are still a lot of opportunities to lower costs and improve operations and environmental performance.

Is there anything you do as a hobby or outside interest you'd like to share?

I play cello in the Capital City Symphony. If you’re in D.C., come check us out at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H St NE! And I occasionally play electric cello with '90s cover bands. I’m also in a gender-inclusive honor fraternity called Phi Sigma Pi. I joined in college but there’s also an active alumni chapter here in D.C.


Thank you for sharing your story with us, Liz!